Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 14

Wolf in the Fold (22 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 908 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 6 critic

Kirk and the Enterprise Computer become detectives after Scotty is accused of murdering women on a pleasure planet.

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Title: Wolf in the Fold (22 Dec 1967)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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...
...
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Hengist
Charles Macaulay ...
Jaris (as Charles Macauley)
Pilar Seurat ...
Sybo
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...
Charles Dierkop ...
Morla
Joseph Bernard ...
Tanya Lemani ...
Kara (as Tania Lemani)
John Winston ...
Transporter Chief
Virginia Aldridge ...
Karen Tracy
...
Yeoman Tankris (as Judy McConnell)
Judi Sherven ...
Nurse
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Storyline

While on shore leave on the planet Argelius II with Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk, Chief Engineer Scott finds himself accused of murdering an exotic dancer he met in a nightclub. He has no recollection of the incident but is found standing over the girl with a bloody knife in his hand. For Mr. Hengist, the chief administrator, the case is cut and dried, but Jaris, the planet's leader, suggests that his wife chair a séance to identify the killer. Tragedy strikes again, still pointing to Mr. Scott as the culprit. Kirk suggests they retire to the Enterprise where they can use its computers to determine if Scott is lying and who the real culprit may be. Written by garykmcd

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22 December 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

For most of Star Trek, James Doohan ("Scotty") hides his right hand, which was missing the middle finger due to a WWII D-Day injury. While being questioned with his hand resting on some sort of lie detector scanner, his fingers are hidden by being curled around the edge of the plate. During a close-up shot of the machine reacting to an intentional lie being told, a complete five-fingered hand spread across the plate is seen - the hand is an obvious stunt double. See more »

Goofs

Obvious double for Mr. Hengist in the final chase. Notice the stunt double is wearing a complete bald cap whereas actor John Fiedler has hair on the back and sides. See more »

Quotes

Captain James T. Kirk: Bones, what's the sedative situation?
Dr. McCoy: I've got some stuff that would tranquilize an active volcano.
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User Reviews

Before CSI, there was Trek.
7 March 2011 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

This episode gave me the creeps because I always liked Scotty. He wasn't Kirk, Spock nor McCoy. He made sure the Enterprise ran, and made miracles happen when the ship was in peril. He brought engines back from the grave, fixed transporters, weapons, and always warned the captain about the stress and strain the ship could take. But Kirk knew his engineer, and trusted him to push the Enterprise to the absolute limit without breaking her.

But then this episode happens, and Scotty's integrity is put on the line. The one you least suspect is the primary suspect in a series of brutal criminal events. Is Scotty the culprit? Is our beloved Scottsman in fact the criminal which the Argelians seek? We're given some pretty fast moving elements, and given the planetary society we're introduced to, it's a good thing, because otherwise Mister Scott might've been locked up and executed before the episode was over.

The story deals with objectifying the serial killer. Who and what is he? Where does he come from? How can he be? Is he truly one of us? A proverbial, as Spock puts it, "wolf in the fold" (the episode's title).

None of those questions is answered, but a science fiction hypothesis is proposed as well as a real world hypothesis for why some killers act the way they do. And, in the end, we're treated to Star Fleet know how via Kirk and Spock who have a solution.

The real magic of this episode is that with all of the weapons and personnel and technology at the disposal of Starfleet's finest, it's the captain and his officers who have to puzzle out what went on. And Kirk doesn't pull any punches in trying to get to the truth, including grilling his friend and chief engineer. They use the computer, but it can only serve as a tool. Kirk and crew have to puzzle out the real culprit.

The episode gives a real heir of mystery and suspense in act two. No amount of scanning equipment or phasers set to either stun or kill is going to solve the mystery for them. And even when the mystery of who and how it solved, the question of why can only be postulated in a science fiction like venue. There are some theories as to why some serial killers do the things they do, and this episode really doesn't even begin to touch on them. It only states that such things have happened, and the best at the time is to try to puzzle out who did these horrendous acts of evil.

The thing that got me about this episode, as I stated before, is that Kirk couldn't just rely on his department heads to whip up an answer based on his own theory. He does for a solution, but the problem was a real mystery. It was CSI in space, specifically on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, and Kirk plays a detective as well as a starship captain. It was scary in that we have a malevolent malefactor that exercises power of the most horrific kind. But again, it is Star Trek, and the solution actually does come in the form of scientific and engineering know how.

A definite plus for Trek for venturing into yet another genre without having to rely on staples like phasers and Klingons. An exploration of an unknown and very frightening quantity in a specific segment of the criminal population; the most vile, the most hated, and the most feared. Again, fortunately it is Trek with Kirk and crew at the helm to solve another life threatening dilemma.

If you're into the whole criminal fiction thing, then give this episode a whirl on your DVD player and see what you think. It may be a little incredulous, but hopefully you'll be somewhat impressed with the boundaries that Trek was willing to push and explore in terms of story and characters.

Enjoy!


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